Every month we’ll showcase here an item from our Heritage Collections.
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II was a dignified and solemn occasion observed by millions around the world. In marked contrast the funeral procession of Queen Caroline of Brunswick (1768-1821), slighted consort of George IV (1762-1830), was a disorderly and violent affair. The queen, exiled and reviled by the Prince of Wales and then king in favour of his mistresses, had in the years of their estrangement become a figurehead for opposition Whigs and radicals pushing for parliamentary reform, a position she clearly revelled in. Her return from Europe after the accession of her husband caused riots but her support reached its peak in the parliamentary trial brought by Lord Liverpool’s Tory government. Her decision to attempt to attend the coronation – George IV had been careful not to issue her with a ticket – proved a step too far for popular public opinion and having been physically barred from several entrances to Westminster Abbey she was jeered by the crowd. She died within the month.Continue reading “Item of the month: A disastrous royal funeral, 1821”